Steamboat Springs For the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team, playing inspired soccer is likely the difference between winning and losing.
In its third two-goal-or-less game of the year, Steamboat showed marked improvement from Friday's 3-3 tie with Delta, downing Palisade 2-1 on Saturday.
"All in all, it was much better than" Friday, Steamboat coach Rob Bohlmann said. "The one component that we've really discussed since we wrapped up (Friday), and really talked about in our pregame team meeting, was passion. That was the core value that was missing (Friday). (Saturday) was much improved and especially in the first 40 minutes."
Steamboat scored first against Palisade, when McKenzie Worden capitalized on a perfect cross from Mandi DeVos.
Then, in the 70th minute, Steamboat put the game away for good when Kiersten Henry knifed her way through several Palisade defenders before dropping the ball to senior Carly Earp to give the Sailors a 2-0 lead.
Palisade added a late goal with only a couple of minutes remaining in regulation, but Steamboat was able to hold on for the win.
"All in all, our passion of play - it was a good improvement from" Friday, Bohlmann said. "We can break down the soccer, but if we don't have passion in our play the rest is hard to quantify. That's where our focus was."
Steamboat now gets a much-needed break before playing at 11 a.m. Saturday against Delta at Gardner Field.
Considering the Sailors (3-1-1) have played four games in seven days, Bohlmann said he was pleased with the way his team finished out the stretch against Palisade.
"Our soccer is something we continue to take baby steps with and improve on a daily basis," Bohlmann said. "If you look back at the past week, in all of those games it was a one- or two-goal difference between winning or losing. It's really the passion of our soccer that's going to be the defining thing of the result."